from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The part or interest of a deceased man's real estate allotted by law to his widow for her lifetime. Also called dowry.
  • n. See dowry.
  • n. A natural endowment or gift; a dowry.
  • transitive v. To give a dower to; endow.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. that part of a deceased's property provided to his widow
  • n. property given by a man to his wife at marriage.
  • n. dowry
  • v. to give a dower or dowry
  • v. to endow

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That with which one is gifted or endowed; endowment; gift.
  • n. The property with which a woman is endowed.
  • n. That which a woman brings to a husband in marriage; dowry.
  • n. That portion of the real estate of a man which his widow enjoys during her life, or to which a woman is entitled after the death of her husband.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To furnish with dower; portion; endow.
  • n. See dougher.
  • n. The property which a woman brings to her husband at marriage; dowry.
  • n. In law, the portion which the law allows to a widow for her life out of the real property in which her deceased husband held an estate of inheritance.
  • n. One's portion of natural gifts; personal endowment.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. furnish with an endowment
  • n. money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
  • n. a life estate to which a wife is entitled on the death of her husband


Middle English douere, from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, dōārium, from Latin dōs, dōt-, dowry; see dō- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)



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